Havant in bottom half of table at halfway point of Southern Premier League season after defeat to leaders Bournemouth

Havant suffered a second successive Southern Premier Division defeat and are marooned in the bottom half of the table at the halfway point of the season.

By Simon Carter
Sunday, 27th June 2021, 12:59 pm
Havant batsman Richard Jerry skies a shot against Bournemouth. Picture: James Robinson
Havant batsman Richard Jerry skies a shot against Bournemouth. Picture: James Robinson

They were beaten by 62 runs by a Bournemouth side who are now 21 points clear at the top and targeting their first title since 2010.

The ninth round of results were near enough perfect for the Dorset club, whose victory over eight-time champions Havant coincided with defeats for their nearest overnight rivals, South Wilts and St Cross Symondians.

Burridge caned South Wilts by seven wickets - helped by a Joe Collings-Wells hundred - while St Cross were beaten by a Bashley Rydal side who are now up to second place. Havant, who have won two and lost three of their games with four rained off, are down in sixth place.

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Bournemouth fielder Robbie Pack about to catch Havant's Richard Jerry. Picture: James Robinson

Bournemouth’s sixth straight victory owed much to Luke Matthews and Chris Park, whose near century fourth wicket stand hauled the leaders away from early trouble and to a competitive 225-7.

Openers Nick Park (6) and Sam Collins (0) were back in the Chapel Gate pavilion before Bournemouth had barely reached double figures. And when Luke Webb (21) was caught at 48-3 - caught by skipper Chris Morgan off Pete Hayward (2-38), Havant were rightly claiming the spoils from the opening hour’s play.

Bournemouth needed a partnership and the ‘short and tall’ duo of Park (42) and the lanky Matthews provided it with a stand of 94 which turned the match.

Matthews played the near perfect role, hitting 72 during a 129-ball stay at the crease before becoming the third victim for left-arm spinner Morgan (3-34) at 192-7.

Bournemouth's Tom Robinson hits out during his cameo innings against Havant. Picture: James Robinson

The Lions vice-captain hit a six and only five fours, but his resolve gave Simon Woodruff, Robbie Pack and latterly Tom Robinson, who twice cleared the rope in a punchy eight-ball 23 not out, license to strike out.

Robinson and Jake Hursley launched a blistering pre-tea assault, adding 33 quick runs to point Havant to a third defeat in their last four matches.

Still reeling, Havant lost Peter Hopson (2) and Richard Hindley (0) with only three runs on the board.

Though opener Simon Loat (43) dropped anchor, his fifth wicket revival with Jez Bullled (26) was the visitors’ only partnership of note.

A double strike by Ed Denham (2-41) effectively left them out for the count at 46-4 but though Loat and Bulled raised the score to 100, Bournemouth were always in charge.

Once the hugely influential Dan Conway (3-32) returned for a second spell to end the recovery, Havant were cooked.

Hurley (3-27), who had bowled Hindley with the new ball, and Pack trimmed the lower-order to leave Havant 163 all out.

*Former Havant all-rounder Brad Taylor was the only member of a strong-looking St Cross top order to prosper in the loss to Bashley.

St Cross fielded ex-Hampshire batsman Harry Came, who has played regularly for Derbyshire in this summer’s T20 Vitality Blast, as well as current Ageas Bowl all-rounder Felix Organ.

But Came (1) and Organ (11) didn’t last long and it needed Taylor, another current Hampshire professional, to haul his side out of deep trouble at 6-3 and 19-4.

Taylor struck 91 off 123 balls, sharing a sixth wicket stand of 122 with Joe Lewis (58) on the way, as St Cross recovered to post 224-8 off their 50 overs.

Bashley opening batsman Josh Digby followed up his 4-49 haul by hitting 60, but the hosts were 99-4 when he was dismissed.

Dan Andrews (61) and Tom Jacques (28) put on 79 for the fifth wicket and, though two wickets fell for two runs to leave Bashley 208-7, they won by three wickets with 11 balls remaining.